(Brent A. Jones) – The Democrats’ legislative “Blueprint” released on Day One of the 2017 session should more accurately be referred to as their “Black-and-Blueprint” considering how badly Nevada’s small businesses and entrepreneurs will get beat up if enacted.

Let’s start with a bill from Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel “requiring certain employers to provide a reasonable time and place for an employee who is a nursing mother to express breast milk” along with a $5,000 penalty if you violate this new-fangled freedom of “expression.”

And of course there’s a new effort to once again raise the “minimum” wage – a clear anti-business job-killer.

As U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said, “the minimum wage is mostly an entry-level wage for young people.”  As such, it should more accurately be referred to as an entry-level wage.  But no matter what you call it, the fact remains it’s not a proper role of government to set wages and/or benefits in the private sector between willing adults.

If, for example, an individual is willing to do certain work for $5 an hour, the government shouldn’t be allowed to force the employer to pay $7.25, $8.50, $10 or $12.  That’s what the free market is for and that’s what freedom is all about.

Which is the same argument against what the left calls “equal pay” legislation – also in the Black-and-Blueprint.

In addition, Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford gave everyone a preview of the partisan chaos to come in his opening day speech when he declared open season on what he referred to as “extreme and unnecessary legislation” passed in 2015.

Ford went on to claim those bills “targeted the pocketbooks of working men and women by slashing wages for construction workers, limiting project labor agreements and attacking collective bargaining rights.”  It’s all pure partisan rhetoric and propaganda, but Democrats’ have control of both legislative houses so they’ll be free to demagogue like this for the entire duration of the session.

For his part, Sen. Mo Dennis is also calling for “free” college for all – an idea the Las Vegas Review-Journal rightly characterizes as being “as absurd as it sounds.”  Because unless college professors are willing to teach for free, *somebody* is going to have to pay them.

Who?  Look in the mirror.

And while you’re there, grab your wallet and hold tight – because efforts to increase property taxes on both residential and commercial properties is also on the menu.

Nevada’s business community will be under attack again on multiple fronts this legislative session.  And to paraphrase Ben Franklin, if we don’t all hang together in opposition to the Black-and-Blueprint this year, we’ll all hang separately – just as we did at the end of the 2015 session.

Brent Jones is the owner of Nevada-based Real Water and president of Nevada’s REAL Chamber of Commerce.  He can be reached at brent@drinkrealwater.com